Northern Drive to St Lucy

Northern Drive to St Lucy
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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Comments on - Dragonflies Are Back

Dragonflies Are Back

We know when the sun takes its hiatus
Buckets of tear drops we see pouring down;
Hedgerows get pregnant with beds of cuscus;
Grassy pastures are laced with much cow-down
Firewood amassed for homes not in town;
The gurgling sounds of gully streams pulsate
For all sorts of insects to conjugate;

Country life is a blissful way of life;
It fills serenity's cup to the brim,
From crack of dawn and beyond sunset blithe;
Eden comes in full view with an awesome gym,
Nature's store-house of gifts for us, from Him;
Despite stiff competition we endure,
Nature holds the keys to unlock fate's door.

No blazing cane-fields to cause frustration,
But this scene over the pond to the west,
Caught my attention and adoration;
Aquatic insects hover at their best;
These dragonflies are back at Sunset Crest
Freely mixing mystic power with grace,
And kites with anchors can't keep up their pace.

With devil's eyes disguised, they prey and prey
On wings of light, long before the ice age;
From prehistoric mist, they've come to stay
With varied names to stump an astute sage;
Dreadful names, but do we find cause for rage?
Whether in damsel wear or dragon suit;
Insect hides they tan them in hot pursuit.

Adonately loved by folks everywhere;
They flaunt their beauty, life histories and
Amazing acts while mating in the air;
They search for pond water throughout the land
On which they lay eggs in the vast expand;
Hating mosquitoes’ unhealthy lifestyles
These cute dragonflies feast on them with flies.

All these dragonflies we respect greatly
In the West Indies, and across the sea;
And Japs adore their martial arts daily.
Look at this dragonfly shot Gregg sent me;
Such a perch it poses for all to see
Its bodily colors, flagging rainbow;
And in its perch its frame lights up the show.

Comments on – Dragonflies Are Back

“Dragonflies Are Back” is a poem about aquatic insects called dragonflies. The poem is written in rhyme royal format; a traditional rhyme scheme. This format means that the poem is written with stanzas of seven heroic verses in iambic pentameter and each stanza must have a rhyming pattern where the first and third verses rhyme; the second, fourth and fifth verses rhyme; the sixth and seventh verses rhyme as show in this extract taken from the poem:

First Stanza

1              We know when the sun takes its hiatus                         a
2              Buckets of tear drops we see pouring down;                 b
3              Hedgerows get pregnant with beds of cuscus;               a
4              Grassy pastures are laced with much cow-down           b
5              Firewood amassed for homes not in town;                    b
6              The gurgling sounds of gully streams pulsate                c
7              For all sorts of insects to conjugate;                            c

Stanza 2

1              Country life is a blissful way of ;                           d             
2              It fills serenity's cup to the /brim/,                                  e
3              From crack of dawn and beyond sunset ;           d
4              Eden comes in full view with an awesome /gym/,           e
5              Nature's store-house of gifts for us, from /Him/;            e
6              Despite stiff competition we \endure\,                           f
7              Nature holds the keys to unlock fate's \door\.                f

Poetry archives do show that Chaucer first made use of the Rhyme Royal structure in his long poem, Troilus and Criseyde and The Parliament of Fowles. He used it for four of his Canterbury tales as well. Here is an extract taken from his works:

Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. 1343-1400)
       Excerpt from The Parliament of Fowls
                                                                                                Rhyming Pattern
A garden saw I, full of blossomy boughs                        a
Upon a river, in a green mead,                                      b
There as sweetness evermore enough is                       a
With flowers white, blue, yellow, and red,                      b                ababbcc
And cold well-streams, nothing dead,                             b
That swimming full of small fishes light,                         c
With fins red and scales silver bright.                             c

On every bough the birds heard I sing,                           d
With voice of angels in their harmony;                           e
Some busied  themselves birds forth to bring;                 d
The little conveys to here play did hie.                           e              dedeeff   
And further all about I could see                                   e
The dread filled roe, the buck, the hart and hind,            f
Squirrels, and beasts small of gentle kind.                      f

Rhyme Royal was the preferred format for Kings and Queens who wrote poetry. James I of Scotland used Rhyme Royal for his Chaucerian poem, The King is Quaire, hence the name, Rhyme Royal. Other historical icons that have used Rhyme Royal in their poetic creations come to mind; John Lydgate used it for many of his occasional and love poems. Shakespeare used it for the Rape of Lucrece. This form continued to be popular well into the 20th Century. It was used by W. H. Auden in his Letters to Lord Byron. Here is an extract of the last two stanzas of Auden's poem to Lord Byron:

Letters to Lord Byron
(Excerpt)                                                                                  Rhyming Pattern      ababbcc

 I know - the fact is really not unnerving -                      a
That what is done is done, that no past dies,                 b
That what we see depends on who's observing,             a
And what we think on our activities.                               b
That envy warps the virgin as she dries                           b
But Post coitum, homo tristis moans                               c
The lover must go carefully with the greens.                  c
                                                                                                
I hope this reaches you in your abode,                           d
This letter that's already fat too long,                                 e
Just like the Prelude or the Great North Road;               d
But here I end my conversational song.                         e
I hope you don't think mail from strangers wrong.       e
As to its length, I tell myself you'll need it,                      f
You've all eternity in which to read it.                             f

(W. H. Auden)

 “Dragonflies Are Back” is a conversational poem about the beauty of nature with special reference to dragonflies. The conversation is best described as First Person Persona – Plural because first-person plural pronouns like (we, us, me, our) are used in the poem, thus making the poet the speaker, the extract taken from stanzas 1, 2, 4 and 6 provide examples of these pronouns:

We know when the sun takes its hiatus
Buckets of tear drops we see pouring down;
 Nature’s store-house of gifts for us, from Him;
Despite stiff competition we endure,
Dreadful names, but do we find cause for rage?
All these dragonflies we respect greatly

The conversation which the poet is having with readers moves fluidly between past experiences in bouts of emotional recollections in tranquility, the beauty of nature; the mysteries of nature revealed, its powerful healing, consoling, nurturing and guiding; mysteries of nature revealed through nature’s spiritual face as well as the volatility in nature when opposite side collide and nature at it best restoring depleted assets with new growth. Instances where these have occurred in the poem are shown below:

Stanza 1 -  Mysteries of nature revealed / Poet's recollection of thoughts

We know when the sun takes its hiatus
Buckets of tear drops we see pouring down;
Hedgerows get pregnant with beds of cuscus;
Grassy pastures are laced with much cow-down                          
Firewood amassed for homes not in town;
The gurgling sounds of gully streams pulsate
For all sorts of insects to conjugate;

Stanza 2                - Poet’s emotional recollections in tranquility               

Country life is a blissful way of life;
It fills serenity's cup to the brim,
From crack of dawn and beyond sunset blithe;
Eden comes in full view with an awesome gym,
Nature's store-house of gifts for us, from Him;
Despite stiff competition we endure,
Nature holds the keys to unlock fate's door.

Stanza 3 – Mysteries of nature again revealed; nature’s spiritual face

No blazing cane-fields to cause frustration,
But this scene over the pond to the west,
Caught my attention and adoration;
Aquatic insects hover at their best;
These dragonflies are back at Sunset Crest
Freely mixing mystic power with grace,
And kites with anchors can't keep up their pace.

Stanza 4 – Volitility in nature when opposite views collide

With devil's eyes disguised, they prey and prey
On wings of light, long before the ice age;
From prehistoric mist, they've come to stay
With varied names to stump an astute sage;
Dreadful names, but do we find cause for rage?
Whether in damsel wear or dragon suit;
Insect hides they tan them in hot pursuit.

Stanza 5 – Nature at its best restoring depleted assets with new growth

Adonately loved by folks everywhere;
They flaunt their beauty, life histories and
Amazing acts while mating in the air;
They search for pond water throughout the land
On which they lay eggs in the vast expand;
Hating mosquitoes’ unhealthy lifestyles
These cute dragonflies feast on them with flies.

Stanza 6 – The beauty of nature and the good feelings and emotions it provides in natural environment

All these dragonflies we respect greatly
In the West Indies, and across the sea;
And Japs adore their martial arts daily.
Look at this dragonfly shot Gregg sent me;
Such a perch it poses for all to see
Its bodily colors, flagging rainbow;

And in its perch its frame lights up the show.

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